Arshin JainMoneythink Connect — Arshin Jain

Moneythink Connect


Carnegie Mellon University

Moneythink Connect

A complete overhaul of the Moneythink's digital presence with a twofold mission: to better promote their thought leadership, as well as to create a compelling platform to attract new talents.

Project Report [PDF]



For this project, we are designing responsive web for peer economy. Responsive web refers to a single design that adapts to the screen size and capabilities of user’s devices, and the peer economy refers to the peer to peer model which two individuals interact with each other for services directly without the intermediation of a third-party. The final goal of our project is to build both mobile version and web version high-fidelity prototypes. The prototyping tools we use is Adobe XD, which enables the prototyping (like sketch) as well as click-through (like InVision).

Given the research package, the domain of the peer economy that we will be focusing on is the non-profit groups collaborating, or more specifically, the collaboration of the non-profit organization Moneythink with other non-profit organizations. Our stakeholder - Moneythink is an American educational non-profit organization that aims to increase financial capability of American youth by recruiting volunteers from other non-profit organizations or individual college students to serve as mentors for low-income high school students.

Therefore, after examining the current method of recruiting mentors, we noticed several existing problem, including the complex application steps for the mentors, the unclear list of opportunities, and the traditional email-based contact between the recruiters and the mentors. These problem makes the interaction between two sides sophisticated and inefficient.

For the final results, we built a well-designed responsive web prototype for our stakeholder – Moneythink Executives, which we named the platform Moneythink Connect. It aims to help Moneythink recruiters find the intended mentors in a highly efficient way and also greatly eases the process that mentors apply for the opportunities on Moneythink.


Contextual Research

From the research package, we get some ideas on what is Moneythink Mission and the big context. From the interview and online searching results, we also generally know how Moneythink works. In the additional research, we focus on how Moneythink and mentors interact including: how Moneythink involve mentors and contact with mentors on the website. We found some ways to help Moneythink involves mentors and ease the process they contact with each other by messaging.


Moneythink has the movements to involve the mentors which also provide mentor opportunities to contribute the mission to help students. In the ‘Joint movements’ page, mentors could leave their basic information to wait for Moneythink mentors to find them which is not really direct connecting. From the website, Moneythink involve mentors by providing different roles including mentor, partner or hoster. One main way these mentors could be involved is filling in the application form by answering questions such as what kind of activity you have ever worked on and the background information.


In the become a partner part on Moneythink website, Moneythink provide the platform to help the individuals around the world share common interest in strengthening by empowering the youth. When the individual wants to get connect with Moneythink, they can click the link on the website and send email to the organization.


In the main page, it introduces their main approach and real impact. In the Our Program page, it introduces their general program which the program combines time-tested learning techniques with evidence-driven innovations and weekly sessions in small groups build trust and accountability between volunteers and students. They list general program, approach, impact and techniques.


How might Moneythink involve more mentors?

If mentors could know more specific information on different programs, mentors could easily find the suitable program which they are interested in and then more likely to contribute. Hence, publish some details on each program with nice picture may absorb more excellent mentors.

If mentors have some limitation on time or some consideration on their background information, they may not be willing to involve in the program. Therefore, if mentors could search and filter the program which they are satisfied with, it will help them be confident and encourage them to involve.

How might we ease the process on mentors and Moneythink organizers keep in touch?

One thing we found that each time when the mentor wants to join in the movement, he need to file the long application form and also send email to the organizations. We found if mentors could edit and save their profiles and then send to the program they are interested in, the whole process will be more efficient.

Another thing we found is it is difficult for mentors to get in close touch with specific program organizers. Mentors contact with organizers only by sending email. Hence, messaging function could be added to help contact.




We mapped our users and stakeholders to different personas in order to have a clear understanding of whom we are designing for.




We devised scenarios to model our user's general background, habits, and stories.

Scenario 1

Name/Title of Persona (user): Ben, Curriculum Developer at Moneythink

Responsibilities/Goals/Interests: Ben regularly searches for and coordinates with mentors from non-profit organizations in order to facilitate organizing financial literacy classes at high schools across the country, especially the Pittsburgh high school.

He invests significant time in identifying potential mentors, checking their availability and checking their availability and exploring their volunteering interests by reaching out to each individual mentor using email, references, and unmaintained profiles on online platforms. This consumes an enormous amount of time and often results in poor mentor selection.

Scenario: Staff members such as Ben would get an entire pool of dedicated non-profit members, and would be able to search and filter to find the most suitable mentor(s) for their specific class, location and timeline.

Potential Solution: A web based platform to help Moneythink recruiting staff specify requirements and using a powerful search and refinement (filters), identify and contact potential mentors based on the necessary criteria (location, timeline, keywords).

Scenario 2

Name/Title of Persona (user): Kate, member of Alpha Phi Omega

Responsibilities/Goals/Interests: interested in education related volunteering, has basic knowledge in financial literacy from college courses and has background in economics.

Scenario: Kate signed up through Alpha Phi Omega for the opportunity to teach high school students about financial literacy as a part of the program hosted by Moneythink. A few days later, she was contacted by a staff member of Moneythink via email to figure out the curriculum. She does not know who to ask (organizer in Alpha Phi Omega or staff from Moneythink) and was afraid asking questions like that would make her look unprofessional.

Potential Solution: Our website would provide a solution to this issue by providing potential mentors with examples from previous programs. Before committing to teaching in specific high school, potential mentors would be able to watch a video of sample class as well as its curriculum. In this way, mentors would be able to gain a sense of what is expected of them in terms of teaching. In addition, potential mentors would be able to look for a collaborator to teach with, who is not necessarily from the same organization which the mentor is from.

From feedback: The research group mentioned that mentor should be knowledgeable in the subject area. Perhaps instead of having tutorials in the platform, develop features that facilitates preference and availability matching.

Scenario 3

Name/Title of Persona (user): John, student with interest in volunteering

Responsibilities/Goals/Interests: John wants to be a volunteer in non-profit organization Moneythink.

Scenario: As a junior in University Wisconsin-Madison, John wants to join Moneythink. So, he went to the Moneythink webpage, clicked on Contact us, and found the application form, but he’s stuck on the second step - he was required to enter his university, but there’s no option for UW-Madison. So, he failed to continue his application. The only alternative way is to get the email of the organization and email them the application.

Potential Solution: There could be a platform for individual to post their information so individuals do not have to directly contact the organization one after another. The posting platform could be reached by a bunch of non-profit organizations so there could have more opportunities for the individuals who want to be a volunteer.

Scenario 4

Name/Title of Persona (user): Ted Gonder, Co-founder and Chief Executive offer of Moneythink

Responsibilities/Goals/Interests: Ted is the Co-founder and Chief Executive offer of Moneythink. Ted’s responsibility is to run the Moneythink which aims to increase the financial capability of American youth and build a better future of America economic health. Ted should provide enough financial mentors to educate low-income high school students.

Scenario: Ted sometimes found managing and recruiting individual student as mentor is a little complex and unstable, because many university students become busier. He is often stressed by the situation.

Potential Solution: Our website will help Ted avoid the stress by offering some channels to get connection with other non-profits organizations which want to provide some volunteers to learn the financial literacy and then to teach high school students.



Our first few iterations of brainstorming focused on the features and users we envisioned in the platform. We identified three different types of users (one of which, manager of mentors, was eliminated later in the prototype because of the relative triviality of features); each corresponding feature sets; metrics to use in those features.

Feature Sets

Our later brainstorming was mainly around graphic designs. We referred to some of the websites that have similar features to ours and iterated on the design compositions based on the feature set we decided earlier.

Notes and Rough Work

Our later brainstorming was mainly around graphic designs. We referred to some of the websites that have similar features to ours and iterated on the design compositions based on the feature set we decided earlier.




We modeled the value our core application will provide to users by modeling stories around their experience of important features.

CMU's Class Link



After the main website redesign, we were asked to rethink the recruitment application process. Our goal was to create a robust platform to help onboard, educate, and guide talents applying for jobs at Morgan Stanley.



This dashboard was designed to allow for a quick and easy way to keep track of your job application process.



This dashboard was designed to allow for a quick and easy way to keep track of your job application process.



Usability Testing

Moneythink is a nationwide non-profit organization dedicated to mentoring high school students on smart spending methods and financial preparation for the future. The organization has its chapters in universities around the nation. Typically, members of the Moneythink chapter recruit volunteers from their college peers and organize mentoring sessions at local high school. However, since the involvement is purely voluntary, it is often not so easy for the Moneythink members to find suitable mentors for the sessions. On the other hand, there exists a substantial number of non-profit organizations on campus, whose members would be interested in being engaged in those events hosted by Moneythink.

A potential collaboration between Moneythink and other organizations would benefit members of both. Our peer-to-peer responsive website aims to facilitate this process through features that both ease the staff members of Moneythink to look for suitable mentors, and help potential mentors to find their perfect match for the opportunities.

Complete Report [PDF]


Navigation Map

We have mapped the navigation flow for mentors and recruiters side on web and mobile platforms. This will provide a clear overview of the flow between application and give an idea of the core features.



This dashboard was designed to allow for a quick and easy way to keep track of your job application process.



This dashboard was designed to allow for a quick and easy way to keep track of your job application process.




At this stage in our design process, we wanted to decide on the impression or “mood” our design would evoke to its users. We began crafting our moodboard by identifying several words to represent the feelings each member of our team would want the users to have when they see or interact with our designs. After we individually identified a collection of 7 to 10 adjectives, we collectively selected three key adjectives to best represent the mood of our design.


Moodboard Image Brainstorming

We individually looked for images that express these themes and have compiled the final moodboard after several iterations encompassing addition and subtraction of images.

  1. Positive/Exciting/Bright- Since this is a platform for a non-profit cause.
  2. Simple- As the platform should be easy to use.
  3. Welcoming- Especially for mentors who don’t have fundamental incentives to get involved in the program.

Fig. Our Collection of Images.


Final Moodboard




I was blessed with an amazing team for this project. Everyone worked exceptionally hard, and despite the difficulties, worked diligently and positively to resolve them.


Project Lead: Arshin Jain
Visual Designers: Lu Sun and Siyu Chen
UX Designers: Arshin Jain and Yiyang Guo
Developers: Arshin Jain